Important Events from 1775-1950

Europe/World Wars

French Revolution


Parisians attack the Bastille, ancient fortress and symbol of royal authority. Arrested royal family and put aristocrats into prison.

Napoleonic Wars

1796 - 1815

Napoleon craved power and glory. Launched a war to dominate Europe. Army met defeat at Battle of Waterloo. Causes monarchs to tighten grip on power.

The Triple Alliance


German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck made alliance with Austria-Hungary. Each empire pledged to fight for the other if attacked by Russia. A few years later, Italy joined the agreement.

The Alliances


Europe’s powers divided into 2 camps. Triple alliance; Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy. Triple Entente; France, Russia, Great Britain.

Archduke Ferdinand


Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated. Austria-Hungary used as an excuse to crush Serbia and put an end to Slavic independence. Many Slavic people lived in Russia. Russia sends troops to Austria-Hungarian border as well as German border. Germany gets into war to help Austria-Hungary. France called troops to support Russia. Germany declared war on France. Britain declares war on Germany. Great powers of Europe plunge into war called The Great War or World War I


1914 - 1918

Began on August 4, 1914 when a million German troops surged into Belgium, which was a way for them to get to France w/out having to encounter French defenses and then could easily capture Paris. Belgium fought back and British rushed to Belgium’s aid. Ottoman Empire joins Central powers in 1914. May 1916 Germany and Great Britain battle at sea. Germany sinks Lusitania. Turned many Americans against Germany. Americans began to think time had come for country to enter war against Central Powers

France, Britain, Germany


Both France and Britain declare war on Germany because Nazi forces were pounding the East.

Axis power


Japan joins axis powers.

Nazi reaches Paris


French government surrenders.

Operation Barborossa


Germany launches invasion of Soviet Union called Operation Barborossa

Pearl Harbor


Japan attacks Pearl Harbor by surprise.

Battle of Midway


U.S. finds out Japan plans to attack Midway Island. Attacks Japan by surprise. U.S. wins battle of Midway



Surprise invasion of northern Europe from England

Germany surrenders


Civil Wars

King Charles X


King Charles X tried to strengthen grip on country by clamping down on the press and dissolving elected legislature. As a result Parisians took to the streets, but failed to achieve democratic changes.



In Paris, citizens protested against restricted voting rights, government corruption, and poor economic conditions. Government turned weapons against citizens. People built barricades. As fight went on the king fled the country. France proclaimed itself a republic



Civil war broke out in Japan. Shogun powers defeated. Emperor rule restored, known as the Meiji Restoration



.Boxers, Chinese who opposed both Empress Dowager and influence of foreigners, rose up in rage and killed missionaries, diplomats, journalists, and thousands of Chinese Christians.

Russo-Japanese War


Japanese decide to fight Russia for control of Manchuria. Japan’s navy easily sank Russia’s vessels.

Russian Revolution

1917 - 1920

Civil war breaks out between reds, Bolsheviks, and whites, supporters of tsar. Millions were killed and millions more died of starvation or disease3. Whites got help from Britain, but Trosky’s army was bigger and more unified. By 1920 Reds routed Whites

Wars between 2 countries

Opium Wars

1830 - 1841

Britain selling opium to China. Chinese government declares it illegal. British try to bribe port authorities to allow drug into country. Lin closed ports. British responded by sending gun-ships to fire at anything that got in their way, which began the opium wars. Chinese eventually forced to surrender

Franco-Prussian War


Between Germany and France. In end Napoleon III surrendered.

Sino-Chinese War


Japan sends troops to Korea, supposedly to protect it. Provoked war with China. Japan won and dominates Korea. Japan demand China turn Taiwan over as well. Nationalist feeling spreads throughout Japan



Hitler has new objective: Stalingrad. Between Germany and Russia/Soviet Union. Soviets drove Hitler’s army back toward Germany

Atomic Bomb


America drops atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese.